If you know any Mormons, you probably know that there are certain ‘rules’ that Mormons live by. These rules cover a wide variety of topics, including things like:
- Don’t have sexual relations outside of marriage (law of chastity)
- Share the gospel with friends and family members
- Don’t smoke or drink alcohol, coffee or tea
- Donate 10% of your income to the Church
- Pray numerous times during the day
- Study the scriptures diligently
Mormons refer to these rules as “commandments” because they see them as divine instructions from God.
But does God really care about these types of things?
Absolutely. Throughout history, God has given commandments to His children here on earth. For example, one of the first things which God did after the creation was to give commandments to Adam and Eve and also establish the consequences. Genesis 2:16-17 reads:
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Since that time, God has continued to give commandments. During Jesus’ ministry, for example, He taught the higher law and outlined the way that His disciples should live. The Apostles’ teachings in the rest of the New Testament reaffirmed these commandments and gave further instruction.
What are the sources of these rules or commandments?
As mentioned above, the Holy Bible includes the words and teachings of prophets, apostles, and the Savior Jesus Christ. Mormons also believe in additional scripture which God has revealed, including the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. Finally, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by a prophet today who can receive revelation from God and communicate these commandments to us.
Why do Mormons follow these commandments?
The answer comes very simply from Jesus’ words. He taught in John 14:15:
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
This is the motivation behind Mormons striving to follow the commandments and live good lives.